Death of a Dream – Another Flyshop is gone.

“Royal Stevens – Steve Speaking” ceased to be heard Saturday 2/25/2012. Yes a 21 1/2 year old dream was laid to rest this Saturday. In mid 1992, Steve Johnson bought out the owner of a Fly Shop and renamed it to Royal Stevens. Steve was making the switch from the high pressure job of selling insurance to the “low pressure” job of owner of a brick and morter fly shop owner operator.

Steve’s shop had been in the same location at Gilpin west of University and Hampden ever since then. Hanging from the ceiling was one of the nicest wood canoes I had ever seen. The walls were adorned with some art work and various stuffed fish in fighting poses along with all the various fly tying materials and gadgets we think we need. In the center was the two sided fly stand holding over 24,000 flies.

Over the years, Steve became friends with many customers, myself included. I feel fortunate for being included in that group. Steve was one of the rare few that realized running a fly shop was more than pushing gear. He realized sometimes we just needed a fly fishing fix or to listen to one of Steve’s wonderful stories. And if the shop was not busy, Steve was always ready to oblige.

But like many businesses, the Obama economy finally caught up with Steve’s business like it has so many others and Steve had to close his business. So we, the former customers of Royal Stevens, have to find another fly shop. And if we are lucky a friend like Steve.

Steve, I wish you all the success you so richly deserve in your retirement. I hope you consider this as the jumping off point for the next phase of your life which will include much more fishing.

Tight Lines and Good Fishing to You,

Marshall Estes, Author and Publisher
“Successful Fly Fishing for Trout”